More bus-light rail connections roll out Saturday
September service change brings more options, new transit center
Starting Saturday, Sept. 19, transit customers will have more choices for their daily travel, as Sound Transit and King County Metro Transit team up to provide better connections between bus service and the Link light rail stations in southeast Seattle and Tukwila.
"Sound Transit and King County Metro Transit are committed to coordinating and integrating the bus and train service we offer to make it easier for our customers to make their connection and get where they're going," said Sound Transit CEO Joni Earl.
Over the past two years, Sound Transit, King County Metro Transit, and the city of Seattle have worked closely to increase bus service to the five light rail stations between Beacon Hill and Rainier Beach. More changes will occur next February in southwest King County following the opening of the SeaTac/Airport Link station."Metro did a tremendous amount of outreach in southeast Seattle and southwest King County to plan the integration of bus and light rail service," said Metro Transit General Manager Kevin Desmond. "We held many meetings, and sent out mailings and questionnaires to get feedback. We know these changes mean some people will have to change their travel patterns, but we hope they will allow riders to take advantage of the new Link system and also update bus service within neighborhoods and between communities to make bus travel a more attractive travel option for more trips."
For this seasonal service change, most of the revisions are occurring in southeast Seattle where more than 15 bus Metro routes are being updated to better connect with light rail service. This includes service to the new Mt. Baker Transit Center that opens Sept. 19 at Rainier Avenue South and South Forest Street, just east of the Mt. Baker Link station.
For transit customers looking for a direct bus trip to Link stations in southeast Seattle and Tukwila, there are 16 Metro routes serving six stations (see chart below). This is in addition to the four stops in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel served by both buses and light rail.
Metro bus service by route (as of 9-19-09)
|Beacon Hill Station||36, 38 & 60|
|Mt. Baker Station
(Buses serve Mt Baker Transit Center, across Rainier Avenue just east of the Link station)
|7, 7 Express, 8, 9, 14, 34 Express, 38, 42 & 48|
|Columbia City Station||8, 39 & 42|
|Othello Station||8, 36 & 39|
|Rainier Beach Station||8, 9, 106 & 107|
|Tukwila/International Boulevard Station||Metro 124, 129 & 174 & Sound Transit Link Connector to Sea-Tac International Airport|
For detailed information to help plan trips between bus routes and light rail, visit the regional online Trip Planner at http://www.kingcounty.gov/tripplanner. Enter a travel date of Sept. 19 or later to find the changed service. Bus riders can find all the September changes detailed in Metro's Special Rider Alert brochure, which is posted online at http://metro.kingcounty.gov The Rider Alert and new purple timetables are available on buses and in Metro information racks. Or, call Metro Rider Information at (206) 553-3000
For complete information about the September 2009-February 2010 changes to Sound Transit services, including ST Express buses, Sounder commuter rail, Tacoma Link, and Central Link light rail, visit www.soundtransit.org/servicechange. The 14-mile Central Link light rail line from Westlake Station to Tukwila International Boulevard Station opened July 18. Service operates 20 hours a day Monday-Saturday and 18 hours a day on Sundays. A 2-mile extension to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport will open in December 2009.
Make transfers between Metro buses and Link trains easy with an ORCA smart card. ORCA cards are valid for rides on King County Metro Transit buses and Sound Transit buses and trains, as well as five other transportation agencies serving King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish counties. The seven ORCA partner agencies plan to move from paper transfers to electronic transfers for rides aboard multiple systems beginning Jan. 1, 2010. King County Metro and Pierce Transit will still have paper transfers that are good within their own systems. With ORCA, a valid transfer will automatically be available for subsequent rides on trains and buses within two hours. For more information about ORCA and how to get an ORCA card, visit http://www.orcacard.com
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